New Treatment for Rosacea Sufferers

Approximately 1.6 million Australians suffer from Rosacea. Rosacea is common, chronic, incurable, adult acne- like skin condition. It has periodic ups and downs (flares and remissions) and symptoms tend to come and go. It may begin with easy facial blushing or flushing, commonly affecting the central third of the face, especially the nose.

Rosacea causes tiny red pimples and fine red lines on the facial skin. It may be mistaken for rosy cheeks, sunburn, or quite often, acne. Triggers include alcohol, hot or spicy foods, emotional stress, and heat.

Rosacea can be a very bothersome and embarrassing condition and untreated rosacea tends to worsen over the time and be a progressive disease. Prompt recognition and proper treatment permit people with rosacea to enjoy life.

The main symptoms of rosacea include red or pink facial skin, small dilated blood vessels, small red bumps sometimes containing pus, cysts, and pink or irritated eyes. Most people with the disease may not even know they have rosacea or that it is a diagnosable and treatable condition. Many people who have rosacea may just assume they blush or flush easily or are just

The redness in rosacea, often aggravated by flushing, may cause small blood vessels in the face to enlarge (dilate) permanently and become more visible through the skin, appearing like tiny red lines (called telangiectasias). Continual or repeated episodes of flushing and blushing may promote inflammation, causing small red bumps that often resemble teenage acne. In fact, rosacea can frequently be mistaken for common acne. Rosacea is also referred to as acne rosacea.

Current Treatment

The first step in rosacea treatment is to avoid any triggers that may exacerbate the condition. Common triggers of rosacea include; certain foods including liver, yogurt, cheese, and spicy/chilli foods, direct sunlight, extremes of weather, alcohol, hot drinks, stress, heavy physical exercise, and hot flushes/menopause. 

Topical therapy metronidazole gel (Rozex) and clindamycin gel. Both are antibiotics, but are used in this case for their anti-inflammatory properties. Topical steroids are not useful in the long-term with rosacea, as although they can decrease inflammation in the short-term, they tend to worsen redness and capillary formation in the long-term.

Oral antibiotics have also been used in the treatment of rosacea. Generally, they are used for inflammatory lesions i.e. papules and pustules (or acne-like lesions), rather than for background redness or capillaries. Tetracyclines are the main antibiotic used in rosacea and include minomycin and doxycycline.

Intense Pulsed Light therapy

The facial redness, flushing and visible blood vessels associated with this condition will gradually vanish with targeted IPL treatment. Using a specific wavelength of light, IPL delivers a precise amount of light deep within the skin through a series of gentle pulses.
During the 15- to 30-minute treatment, expect a bright light followed by a mild and temporary stinging sensation similar to a rubber band snapping against the skin.
While most superficial spider veins on the face require 1-2 treatments, ultimately the number and length of treatments required will depend on the size, location and depth of the veins needing treatment.


Mirvaso (Brimonidine) is the first and only TGA approved topical treatment specifically formulated and indicated for facial erythema associated with rosacea. It is a topical vasoconstrictor that is formulated to deliver rapid and sustained erythema (redness) reduction. It is not a cure for erythema, once the effects have worn off, the erythema will return. Mirvaso can reduce erythema within 30 minutes and the results can be sustained for up to 12 hours (patient rates may vary). It is well tolerated, with less than 4% of most common adverse events report.